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Brazil to insist on technology transfer in defence deals

A file photo.

BRASILIA (AFP): Brazil, which is close to awarding a lucrative jet fighter contract, has said that it would insist on technology transfer in its defence agreements.

"In all its alliances, Brazil will put on the table the demand for technology transfer," Education Minister Aloizio Mercadante told foreign correspondents on Tursday.

"We no longer intend to have the passive attitude we used to have throughout our history," he added.

He made the remarks as Brasilia was set to decide within a few months on a tender for 36 multi-role combat aircraft.

The Rafale fighter, made by French firm Dassault Aviation, is up against US aviation giant Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet and Swedish manufacturer Saab's Gripen jet for a tender from Brazil to supply 36 multi-role combat aircraft.

The contract has been variously valued at between $4 billion and $7 billion.

"We are entering the final chapters," Brazilian Defence Minister Celso Amorim told the magazine Istoe last Saturday.

"I have an expectation that the matter can be resolved in this semester (first half of the year)," he said.

A senior Brazilian government source said last week that President Dilma Rousseff would make the choice after a visit to Washington in April and the French presidential election in May.

Amorim previously said June was a likely date for the announcement.

Last year, Brazil delayed a decision on the purchase following major budget cuts, but the jets are needed to modernise the country's air force.

In addition to technology transfer, Brasilia also wants some of the jet fighters to be assembled in this country, which according to analysts might favour the Rafale.

But Boeing is said to be offering a better price.


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